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Queen of the Blues Volume 1
     

Queen of the Blues Volume 1

5.0 1
by Bessie Smith
 
As evidenced by the five double-disc sets issued by Columbia at the end of the last century, Bessie Smith was at the very least prolific. From the beginning of her series of recordings for the label in 1923, she recorded and toured almost incessantly until her death in an automobile accident in 1937. England's JSP issues its first volume

Overview

As evidenced by the five double-disc sets issued by Columbia at the end of the last century, Bessie Smith was at the very least prolific. From the beginning of her series of recordings for the label in 1923, she recorded and toured almost incessantly until her death in an automobile accident in 1937. England's JSP issues its first volume in a projected two-volume series that places her first 90 sides -- master takes only -- on four fine sounding CDs. There are decent notes in each volume documenting her rise to fame, from 1923's "Downhearted Blues" b/w "Gulf Coast Blues" until she became the undisputed queen, perhaps even Empress, of the genre in 1926 with the hits "Hard Time Blues" and "Honey Man Blues." The liners detail the inclusion of many famous sidemen from Fletcher Henderson (who replaced her first pianist, and manager, Clarence Williams) and clarinet boss Don Redman, cornettist Joe "Fox" Smith, trombone player Charlie Green, and Elmer Snowden on banjo on "Nobody's Blues But Mine" and "I Ain't Got Nobody." Even the great Louis Armstrong appeared with Smith during the years 1924 and 1925, when her bands were just a tad bigger. The amazing thing as one listens to these sides is that Smith's voice is stronger than all these instruments combined. Given that her voice was such a force of nature, it's a wonder that Columbia booked her sessions with such illustrious talents in the first place -- Armstrong, Henderson, and Redman -- as well as Buster Bailey were already established artists. Of the 90 cuts here, all are worth hearing, even though some performances, understandably, are better than others. Suffice to say that these sides are actually a better investment that the Columbia sides simply because they cost about half as much and there are only a pair of sets as opposed to five. At this price it's worth investing just for the curious. That said, however, one cannot place these liner notes in the same category with the ones on Columbia's set, which are superior in every way, but there is enough information here to get started at the very least, and all the sessions are detailed as well.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/13/2007
Label:
Jsp Records
UPC:
0788065902926
catalogNumber:
929
Rank:
19308

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Downhearted Blues
  2. Gulf Coast Blues
  3. Aggravatin' Papa
  4. Beale Street Mama
  5. Baby Won't You Please Come Home
  6. Oh Daddy Blues
  7. 'Tain't Nobody's Business If I Do
  8. Keeps on Rainin'
  9. Mama's Got the Blues
  10. Outside of That
  11. Bleeding Hearted Blues
  12. Lady Luck Blues, Pt. 3
  13. Yodelin' Blues, Pt. 3
  14. Midnight Blues, Pt. 3
  15. If You Don't I Know Who Will
  16. Nobody in Town Can Bake a Sweet Jelly Roll Like Mine
  17. Jail House Blues
  18. St Louis Gal, Pt. 3
  19. Sam Jones Blues
  20. Graveyard Dream Blues
  21. Cemetary Blues
  22. Far Away Blues
  23. I'm Going Back to My Used to Be

Disc 2

  1. Whoa Tillie Take Your Time
  2. My Sweetie Went Away
  3. Any Woman's Blues
  4. Chicago Bound Blues
  5. Mistreatin' Daddy
  6. Frosty Mornin' Blues, Pt. 4
  7. Haunted House Blues
  8. Eavesdroppers Blues
  9. Easy Come Easy Go Blues
  10. Pinchbacks/Take 'Em Away
  11. Rockin' Chair Blues
  12. Ticket Agent Ease Your Window Down
  13. Bo Weavil Blues
  14. Hateful Blues
  15. Frankie Blues
  16. Moonshine Blues
  17. Louisiana Low Down Blues
  18. Mountain Top Blues
  19. Work House Blues
  20. House Rent Blues
  21. Salt Water Blues
  22. Rainy Weather Blues

Disc 3

  1. Weeping Willow Blues
  2. The Bye Bye Blues
  3. Sing Sing Prision Blues
  4. Follow the Deal on Down
  5. Sinful Blues
  6. Woman's Trouble Blues
  7. Love Me Daddy Blues
  8. Dyin' Gambler Blues
  9. The St Louis Blues
  10. Reckless Blues
  11. Sobbin' Hearted Blues
  12. Cold in Hand Blues
  13. You've Been a Good Old Wagon
  14. Cake Walkin' Babies from Home
  15. The Yellow Dog Blues, Pt. 1
  16. Soft Pedal, Pt. 1
  17. Dixie Flyer Blues
  18. Nashville Women's Blues, Pt. 2
  19. Careless Love, Pt. 1
  20. J.C. Holmes Blues
  21. I Ain't Going to Play Second Fiddle
  22. He's Gone Blues

Disc 4

  1. Nobody's Blues But Mine
  2. I Ain't Got Nobody
  3. My Man Blues
  4. New Gulf Coast Blues
  5. Florida Bound Blues
  6. At the Christmas Ball
  7. I've Been Mistreated and I Don't Like It
  8. Red Mountain Blues
  9. Golden Rule Blues
  10. Lonesome Desert Blues
  11. Squeeze Me
  12. Them Has Been Blues
  13. Squeeze Me
  14. What's the Matter Now?
  15. I Want Every Bit
  16. Jazzbo Brown from Memphis Town
  17. The Gin House Blues
  18. Money Blues
  19. Baby Doll
  20. Hard Drivin' Papa
  21. Lost Your Head Blues
  22. Hard Times Blues
  23. Honey Man Blues

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Queen of the Blues Volume 1 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago